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How and when should business processes be described?

Business processes are a sequence of steps that must be performed to achieve a specific goal within an organization.

But how to describe them?

In this article, we will look at how and when to describe them.

  • Clear view.

Helps employees understand the work of the organization, steps to achieve goals. This makes the process more transparent and helps employees better navigate their tasks.

  • Improving efficiency.

The company can identify and eliminate unnecessary operations, waste resources and time, as well as optimize the sequence of actions. This helps to increase the overall productivity of the company, reduce costs and achieve more effective results.

  • Establishing control.

Helps the company monitor and measure results in order to track its progress and take measures to improve processes if they do not meet values. Ultimately, this helps the company to be more adaptive to changes in the external environment and achieve its long-term goals by meeting the needs of customers.

  • Fast optimization.

It makes it possible to identify errors and eliminate them even before they can affect the quality of work.

  • Training and knowledge transfer.

Structured and detailed descriptions of business processes facilitate the adaptation of new employees, allowing them to quickly master their roles and understand how their responsibilities relate to the work of other employees. It also helps to replace or delegate responsibilities between employees if necessary.

Before you start describing business processes, you need to know their types and classifications in order to do it more competently

There are several classifications, but the most common business processes can be divided into 3 groups:

  • The main ones:

They are the key processes in the company that bring profit. They include production, marketing, sales and customer service.

  • Auxiliary:

Help your business function smoothly and efficiently. They are not directly related to the creation of a product or the provision of services, but are necessary to support the main processes. For example, people management, finance (accounting), information technology (computers, software), procurement (purchase of necessary materials and equipment) and supply management (supply control and logistics).

  • Management:

These processes are related to decision-making and planning at a higher level.

They help to manage the business and achieve strategic goals. They include such things as the development of a strategy for business development, budget planning, task control, change management and evaluation of results.

It is important to remember that all these processes are interconnected and affect each other.

Usually companies need to describe their processes for three reasons:

  • Optimization of existing processes:

When there is already an established business, the description will help identify weaknesses with room for improvement. Analyses of all processes allow you to identify unnecessary steps, bottlenecks, minor tasks and other areas that can be optimized to improve efficiency.

  • Introduction of new systems:

When integrating systems or technologies, it may be necessary to change business processes. This will help you understand how the introduction of new systems will affect current operations and what changes need to be made for successful implementation.

  • Employee training:

It is also important to mention that this is useful in the case of training new employees or introducing new procedures into the organization. When there is a clear description, it is much easier for new employees to understand exactly how to perform their duties, which, in turn, contributes to uniformity and consistency in the performance of tasks.

  • Defining goals

The first step is to write down all the functions that are performed in the business. It is important to take into account all the key tasks that are necessary to achieve business goals. Then these functions are grouped into three categories: basic, auxiliary and management processes. Thus, it will become clear which processes are important and require special attention.

  • Writing out tasks

For each process, draw up your own action plan, which will describe specific steps (tasks) that will help in the successful implementation of goals. Consider the sequence of actions and the relationship between different tasks. This approach helps to clarify and identify opportunities for optimization.

Here the division of tasks into checklists in such services as: Notion, Trello and Bitrix24 can help you.

  • Drawing up the structure

Structuring is necessary for better understanding and management of processes. Create a hierarchy in which the main processes are at the top, and subprocesses and tasks are at the bottom. Then make connections between different processes and subprocesses to show the flow of data, information and resources between them. Develop a structure that clearly displays the hierarchy and logic of business process execution.

These services can help you with this: Enterprise Architect, ArchiMate and BizzDesign.

  • Visualization of processes

After we have assembled the structure of the process, we can visualize it in the form of a flowchart.

You can describe it in any service for creating mind maps, such as: Miro, Mindmeister and Xmind. Also use diagrams and graphs to visualize the structure and sequence of processes.

It is important to take into account that the description and improvement of business processes requires a systematic approach and a clear understanding of the company's current operations.

But as a result of this approach, you can free up time to focus on other important things, and at the same time achieve 100% reliability of tasks.

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